NDP leader Adrian Dix paid a visit to Langley Tuesday morning, making a last-minute effort to encourage people to cast ballots in the HST referendum. Ballots must be in the hands of Elections BC by 4:30 p.m. Friday.

NDP leader Adrian Dix paid a visit to Langley Tuesday morning, making a last-minute effort to encourage people to cast ballots in the HST referendum. Ballots must be in the hands of Elections BC by 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Dix urges public to cast anti-HST votes

With just four days remaining for voters to decide the fate of the HST, NDP leader Adrian Dix was in Langley on Tuesday morning as part of a final push to convince residents to help quash the 13-month-old harmonized sales tax.

  • Aug. 2, 2011 10:00 a.m.

With just four days remaining for voters to decide the fate of the HST, NDP leader Adrian Dix was in Langley on Tuesday morning as part of a final push to convince residents to help quash the 13-month-old harmonized sales tax.

Speaking to about 20 people in the Mocha Room coffee house on Fraser Highway (stop number 34 on his tour), Dix argued that a return to the GST-PST formula would save working families thousands of dollars.

Holding up his own $4 cup of coffee, Dix pointed out that he’d paid 48 cents HST on the beverage — an increase of 28 cents above what it would have cost him just over a year ago.

Even these small amounts add up, he said.

“And it affects everyone. The basket of goods affected (by the HST) is much bigger.”

Depending on how it is calculated, Dix said, between 20 and 40 per cent more items and services are taxed under the HST than were under the PST.

And that money, he said, has gone to subsidize a reduction of taxes to big business, rather than fund health care or education in the province.

“The HST, at its core, is a tax transfer from businesses to working families,” Dix said. “That’s what the GST was.

“It gives Ottawa control of our taxation system.”

Asked what he would suggest as a fair form of taxation, Dix replied: “The province’s finances were better under the PST-GST. In the next five to 10 years, the province will be better off if we return to (the system that was in place on ) June 30, 2010.

“We need to re-link the taxes we pay to the services we get.”

None of the revenue from the carbon tax has gone toward transit or other environmental initiatives, Dix said.

“People in Langley have very indifferent access to transit. They pay the carbon tax and have no real alternative to driving.

“There is a disconnect between the taxes people pay and the services they get.”

From the beginning, said Dix, B.C. residents have been led down the garden path by the Liberal government, and the HST is just one more example.

“There is no question the Liberal party intentionally misled people (about the tax) in the last election,” Dix said.

“If they get away with this because people didn’t send in their ballots, it will continue,” he added.

Just 38 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot in the 2002 Nisga’a Treaty referendum, which was conducted in a similar format.

“We need greater participation,” Dix said.

“I’m as concerned about the turnout as I am the result.”

A quick show of hands seemed to indicate that everyone at the Mocha Room event had received and returned their ballots, despite July’s lockout at Canada Post.

However, Dix said he believes the interruption did affect voter turnout, and that a lot of people who’ve received ballots still haven’t sent them in. He urged those people to mark their X — for or against the tax —  and return the ballot to a local reception centre before the 4:30 p.m. deadline on Friday, Aug 5. In Langley, there is one at Willowbrook Shopping Centre.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Updated: Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

(Black Press Media files)
‘Potentially damaging’ winds expected in Metro Vancouver

Wind is expected to pick up late Sunday night

A hand-drawn ‘stairway to heaven’ was part of an memorial left for a cyclist who died from a medical emergency near 206 Street and 66 Avenue on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Children leave memorial for cyclist who died in Langley

‘Hope you make it to heaven’ the note reads

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks to reporters from B.C. legislature. (B.C. government/Special to The Star)
Ryan’s Regards: You’re not a lesser person

Premier Horgan’s simple words about the virus are necessary for all to hear

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Abbotsford Police Department is investigating a shooting on Adair Avenue on Saturday night. (Photo by Dale Klippenstein)
Drive-by shooting in Abbotsford targeted home with young children, police say

Investigators believe home was mistakenly targeted by assailants

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

(File photo)
Vancouver police warn of toxic drug supply after 7 people overdose at one party

Seven people between the ages of 25 to 42 were taken to hospital for further treatment.

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

Most Read